Oreshki Recipe (Walnut Shaped Cookies)
Oreshki are the traditional crisp and flaky Walnut Shaped Cookies filled with dulce de leche filling. These beautiful delights are the iconic treats for Slavic families, especially during holidays and special occasions. The golden exterior of these cookies give a nice touch to the dessert table.
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The Oreshki dessert had been in our family since before I was born. They are always prepared for weddings, Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving and even for a regular Sunday family dinner. This oreshki recipe was shared with me by my sister Alla a decade ago.
These walnut shaped cookies are one of the treats that could be given out to friends and family as a homemade Christmas gift. They are small, fit nicely into a jar or box and do not melt.
When the filled oreshki are refrigerated, the dulce de leche filling firms up and connects with the cookie shell. Later, even if you decide to keep them for hours at room temperature, the filling will not leak out.
What are Oreshki?
Oreshki are the crisp and flaky golden exterior walnut shaped cookies filled with dulce de leche filling. They are the all-time favorite dessert among adults and children in Slavic families. Out of so many dessert recipes, this got to be in the top 5.
The cookie shell itself is usually made out of some kind butter dough and filled with homemade dulce de leche that is combined with butter for lesser sweetness.
Many times these are filled with oreshki crumbs and toasted walnut or pecan in the center of each cookie. My family and I prefer these with a simple dulce de leche filling, therefore I never fill these with anything else.
My mom’s method for homemade dulce de leche (cooked sweetened condensed milk) always comes out really thick in texture. It is a lot easier to work with firm dulce de leche filling for any dessert.
Where to Get Molds for Walnut Shaped Cookies?
Nowadays, there are so many different walnut shaped cookie molds and appliances available out there. There are single molds for the oven, an electric or for gas stove and even rare oven molds (like in this recipe). It does not matter what mold you’re using, this recipe works well for any.
I’m using the electric oreshki maker in this recipe. I purchased mine from this website. The one thing I don’t really like about this appliance is when you press, the cookies closer to back get squeezed more and if you hold longer, they will get really dark compared to other cookie shells.
However, I like using it because it is so much faster and holds 24 shells at one time. You do not have to worry about shaping the oreshki dough into each mold. You just press, wait and it’s baked.
Ingredients in Walnut Shaped Cookies:
The dough for walnut shaped cookies is so simple to make and literally takes minutes. The entire recipe is so easy, but might seem a little time-consuming for someone who never made them.
The mayonnaise, egg yolks and powdered sugar make these treats crisp and flaky, kind of like a butter cookie recipe.
This recipe makes about 110 shells. That is 55 walnut shaped cookies, filled with the super tasty dulce de leche filling.
- Egg yolks
- Powdered sugar
- Real mayonnaise
- Unsalted butter
- Baking soda
- Distilled white vinegar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Dulce de Leche
How to Make Walnut Shaped Cookies?
- In a large bowl, combine and beat 3 egg yolks and 1 cup powdered sugar.
- In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon baking soda and 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar; it will fizz.
- Add the baking soda mixture, 2 sticks unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon mayo and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract to the bowl with eggs. Beat for another minute to combine.
- Add 3 cups all-purpose flour (1 cup at a time). Beat until just combined with each addition.
- Wrap the dough with plastic food wrap and make a flat disk to about 1-inch thick. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour or up to 2 days.
- Preheat the oreshki maker while you work with the dough.
- Fully fill a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon with dough and then scoop it out with your finger. Roll an egg-shaped dough balls. (Make at least 24 to fill all the molds or how many your oreshki maker does at one time).
- Place 1 ball into each cookie mold and gently press to close the lid. Bake for 2 1/2 minutes.
- Remove baked cookie shells to a clean tray using a disposable knife or fork. Repeat until no dough left.
- Using a small sharp knife, trim the edges of each cookie. Crush all the cookie scraps into small crumbs using your hands.
Make dulce de leche filling and fill oreshki:
- In a medium bowl, combine 1 (14 oz) can dulce de leche and 1/2 stick (or 1/4 cup) unsalted butter. Beat on high speed until combined.
- With help of a dull knife, fill each cookie shell with dulce de leche filling. Gently (no pressing) put 2 shells together to create a walnut shaped cookie. I like to add some cookie crumbs to the seams to cover any dulce de leche showing and to give these cookies a festive look. Continue until all cookies are filled.
- Refrigerate walnut shaped cookies for at least 4 hours before serving.
Filling Variations for Oreshki:
Oreshki cookies are traditionally filled with dulce de leche filling, but the filling variations are never-ending.
- Dulce de leche and crumbs. Combined dulce de leche, butter and oreshki crumbs.
- Walnuts or Pecans. Finely ground toasted walnuts or pecans and combine with cookie crumbs and dulce de leche. You can also add half or quarter of toasted walnut or pecan into the center of each cookie.
- Dulce de leche, butter and cream cheese. The cream cheese will give a slight tang and create a less sweet filling.
- Chocolate. Microwave chocolate chips to melt or use stove top method. Cool to room temperature before filling.
- Jam or fruit spread. The thicker the jam or spread, the better.
- Nutella. With a decadent hazelnut flavor.
- Heavy cream and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and vanilla for sweetness.
- Custard. Just as you would make for eclairs.
Storing Walnut Shaped Cookies:
- Cookies without filling. Store walnut shaped cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. You can also place them into a baking dish and tightly cover with plastic food wrap.
- Filled walnut shaped cookies. Refrigerate filled cookies with dulce de leche for up to 1 week. They even taste better refrigerated.
Family Favorite Christmas Desserts:
- Peach Pastries – very similar to oreshki, but no appliance is needed
- Chocolate Spartak Cake – thin-layered cake with sour cream frosting. It’s a family favorite!
- Ukrainian Dulce de Leche Waffle Cake – the easiest dessert for holidays, no baking required
- Cream Filled Pizzelles (Trubochki) – family favorite dessert for decades. These are always gone first from the table!
- Rugelach (rogaliki) – rolled in powdered sugar, flaky little treats
How to Clean Electric Oreshki Maker:
To prolong lifetime of your oreshki maker, it’s important to clean it after each use. Let the oreshki maker cool completely. Use a brush to brush off any crumbs and then with a wet and dry paper towels, clean each mold and sides.
I use toothpick to get into little spaces. It might sound like a headache, but this way your future walnut shaped cookies will always look clean and elegant. My appliance is about 8 years old as of today. Taking care of your kitchen appliances pays off with delicious treats!
Oreshki Recipe (Walnut Shaped Cookies)
Walnut Shaped Cookies:
Dulce de Leche Filling:
- 1 (14 oz) can dulce de leche
- 1/4 cup (or 1/2 stick) unsalted butter – room temp
To Make Oreshki Dough:
- Add 3 cups all-purpose flour (1 cup at a time). Beat until just combined with each addition. If dough feels a bit too soft, add another 1/4 cup flour and stir with a spatula. Dough will be sticky and you might think it needs more flour, but it will thicken in refrigerator.
- Wrap the dough with plastic food wrap and make a flat disk to about 1-inch thick. Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 2 days if planning to bake these later.
To Bake Oreshki:
- 1 HOUR LATER: preheat the oreshki maker while you work with the dough.
- Fully fill a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon with dough and then scoop it out with your finger. Roll an egg-shaped dough balls. (Make at least 24 to fill all the molds or how many your oreshki maker has). This is the fastest and easiest way to make the dough balls. It will ensure all cookies are similar and the excess dough is not oozing out of the oreshki maker. You will have enough cookie scraps for the filling.
- Once the appliance is ready, place 1 ball into each cookie mold and gently press to close the lid. Press just until clicked or closed; do not press all the way or the oreshki shells will come out too thin. Bake for 2 1/2 minutes. (If this is your first time making oreshki, check at 2-minute mark). Shells should be yellow-ish to lightly golden. Keep rolling the dough balls for another round while these are baking. You do not need to refrigerate the dough before each addition. I tried and I did not see any difference. The baking process takes less than 20 minutes, which is not much for butter dough to really soften.
- Remove baked cookie shells to a clean tray using a disposable knife or fork. Repeat previous step until all oreshki shells are baked.
- Using a small sharp knife, trim the edges of each cookie. Crush all the cookie scraps into small crumbs with your hands. You do not need a food processor or a rolling pin.
To Make Dulce de Leche Filling and Fill Oreshki:
- In a medium bowl, combine 1 (14 oz) can dulce de leche and 1/2 stick (or 1/4 cup) unsalted butter. Beat on high speed for about 2 minutes until combined. If necessary, refrigerate filling for an hour or so if it turns out too runny. Different homemade dulce de leche methods have different texture results.
- With help of a dull knife, fill each cookie shell with dulce de leche filling. Gently (no pressing) put 2 shells together, filling side toward each other to create a walnut shaped cookie. I like to add some cookie crumbs to the seams to cover any dulce de leche showing and to give these cookies a festive look. Continue until all cookies are filled. I always have just enough filling for all.
- Place cookies in a tray, preferably seam side on a side until cookies set in refrigerator, to prevent any dulce de leche leaking out. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
- Walnut shaped cookies stay fresh up to 1 week in refrigerator.
- Special Tools: Oreshki Maker | Pastry Brush | Stainless Steel Tray | Mixer | Bowls
- Bake cookies in advance. Cookies can be baked up to a month in advance and filled closer to the event.
- Resting time: it’s important for dough to cool and rest in refrigerator minimum 60 minutes and up to 2 days before baking.
- Use 1 teaspoon measuring spoon to ensure all cookie shells are similar in size.
- Baking time: depends on what oreshki maker you’re using. For this electric appliance, I did maximum 2 1/2 minutes for each addition. Any longer will make them dark and they taste burned.
- Prepare minimum 24 dough balls for next batch while one is baking to fasten the baking process.
- Clean oreshki maker. Clean appliance surface after each batch using a brush. This way all of the oreshki cookies will come out clean without any burned crumbs on them.